February 04, 2023

Registration open for Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2023 annual conference – Jan. 19-21 in Ames

AMES — Registration is now open for Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2023 annual conference, “On Common Ground,” which will take place Jan. 19-21 at the Iowa State Center Scheman Building, on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. All are welcome. Full details are at practicalfarmers.org/2023-annual-conference.

Since PFI’s founding, the annual conference has been a keystone event for hundreds of farmers to share knowledge, build connections and celebrate agriculture in Iowa. This year, the conference invites attendees to consider the many places where common ground exists in our lives, farms and shared aspirations – and to seek points of commonality through connection, conversation and in the gaps between what’s visible and unseen.

Conference highlights include:

  • A Friday keynote by Donna Pearson McClish, a multigenerational urban farmer who is the founder and CEO of Common Ground Producers and Growers Mobile Market and Mobile Food Hub in Wichita, Kan. For the past seven years, the business has been providing fresh produce to the food desert and food insecurity areas of Wichita and surrounding communities.
  • 62 sessions on topics that span the agricultural spectrum, from field crops, small grains and horticulture to livestock, habitat, business planning, beginning farmers, farmland ownership and more.
  • Three pre-conference short course options: “Getting Started With Farm Transition”; “Organic No-Till in Row Crop Systems”; and “Growing and Selling Cut Flowers in the Midwest.” All three courses run from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 19 and continue to 8 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 20 at the Scheman Building.
  • The return of PFI’s Friday night dinner along with a new pickles and preserves potluck. The festive event lets attendees connect and continue conversations over good food, including favorite homemade goods.
  • An afternoon of storytelling by PFI farmers sharing skillfully narrated true stories.
  • Certified crop advisor credits for 77 sessions, including short courses.
  • Many opportunities to network with other farmers, researchers, sponsors and consumers
  • Presentation of PFI’s 2023 Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award.

The cost is $75 per day for non-PFI members or $55 per day for PFI members – but one ticket covers up to 10 people listed under farm and household or lifetime memberships. Rates increase after the pre-registration deadline of Jan. 12, after which all registrations are walk-in only. The student rate is $40, which covers entry for both Friday and Saturday with a valid student ID. Short course rates are $40 for members and $80 for non-members.

Early registration incentive: New this year, those who register by Nov. 30 will be entered in a drawing to win a sunset plane ride over Iowa, courtesy of Stott Aerial.

Scholarships are available via an application on the conference registration webpage. Priority will be given to applicants from underrepresented or historically marginalized groups in agriculture, beginning farmers with limited resources, and other applicants experiencing financial hardship.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2023 annual conference is supported by several major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed House, Inc.; American Farmland Owner; Bay Shore Sales; Clif Bar; Grain Millers, Inc.; Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health; Niman Ranch; Peoples Company; Red Fern Farm; Sunderman Farm Management Co.; and Welter Seed and Honey Company.